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handsome furs - Plague Park
Handsome Furs is the Montreal-based duo of Dan Boeckner and Alexei Perry. Canadian rock fans will recognise Boeckner as singer and guitarist in Wolf Parade. Having already been confronted with the new album by Broken Social Scene side-project Apostle Of Hustle this week, you can't help but wonder what keeps those Canadians going. Handsome Furs' sound is predominantly informed by a comparatively simple combination of bedroom electronics and wistful guitar-spun melodies, which although lower in key than the work Boeckner puts in with Wolf Parade are no less effective in this pared-down context. The songs here benefit greatly from some artfully constructed guitar passages, which resonate eloquently throughout the unyielding lo-fi beats of 'What We Had' and the wonderful 'Snakes On The Ladder'. The most openly electronic piece of writing on the album comes from 'Sing! Captain!' whose frosty aloofness is given a touch of warmth by intrusive blasts of digital distortion that sound a bit like there's a loose connection somewhere. You wouldn't hear The Postal Service sounding this dirty. Another highlight comes from 'Dead + Rural', which sounds like the Psychedelic Furs getting an electropop makeover - that's meant as good thing you understand. The album ends with the most unembellished example of Boeckner's songwriting on the album, 'The Radio's Hot Sun', a largely acoustic affair, that's easily the equal of any othe album's more electronically-enhanced high points. Excellent stuff.